Crossflo wins through focused anticipation

Niche company adds info-sharing expertise to security-minded procurements.

Crossflo Systems says information-sharing software is a hot commodity in today’s security-minded environment. But the San Diego-based small business isn’t chasing federal procurement officials to make a sale. It prefers to let its “big boy” partners pave the way for its share of business.

Roger Hawkes, Crossflo’s vice president of federal solutions, said the company’s strategy is to focus on agencies in which major procurements originate, especially the Defense, Homeland Security and Justice departments, and to secure partnerships with the big companies that usually win those contracts.

“Our strategy is to be a niche solutions provider,” partnering with the likes of defense contractor Boeing on a number of projects, Hawkes said. Crossflo has also worked with Nortel Networks, BAE Systems and Science Applications International Corp., among others.

“Our focus is to align ourselves on teams that are going after those big contracts,” he said, so that Crossflo will be well-positioned to win the information-sharing portion of the work.

The company’s software product, Crossflo DataExchange (CDX) Version 3.1, which was introduced in July, is commercial middleware that facilitates data sharing among intelligence agencies, the military and law enforcement organizations.

“Information is the lifeblood of police investigations, and with 184 member countries, the need for Interpol to ensure that law enforcement around the globe has access to vital data is paramount,” said Brian London, executive director for resource management at Interpol, in an e-mail message.

London would not confirm that Interpol is using the CDX application. However, he said that widening access to Interpol databases to officers on the street will give them the tools they need to do their jobs more effectively. “Identifying and implementing innovative technical solutions [are] essential in achieving this expansion,” he said.

Hawkes said the company’s CDX middleware links databases and information systems so users can send and retrieve information securely. “Basically we have a middleware that serves as a broker that will extract or push information between data systems,” he said. “Law enforcement and security officials can share information on systems that were not originally designed to talk to one another.”

The software is useful for intelligence analysts, military command centers and law enforcement agencies because “you can do one search on one computer instead of having to search multiple systems,” Hawkes said.

He said a big stumbling block to data sharing often comes from those who own the data. “They are afraid to enter into any kind of information-sharing environment because they feel they might lose control of sensitive data,” he said.

With CDX, he added, the owner of the data retains control over how much information may be accessed and by whom.

A commercial tool for government data sharing

Crossflo Systems released Version 3.1 of Crossflo DataExchange (CDX) in July. The commercial middleware, built on the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition application server standard, contains:

  • A data-mapping application that supports a drag-and-drop technique for connecting data sources and includes a powerful set of data transformation functions for standardizing information.

  • Support for an expanded set of data sources, including relational databases, Web services, message queues, Enterprise Service Buses and flat files.

  • Support for federated (pull) and event-driven (push) data-sharing models.

  • Law enforcement Information Exchange Package Documentation sets integrated directly in CDX.

  • Support for document- and element-level encryption.
  • Source: Crossflo

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